THE AMCATS + SOFT WHITE MACHINE + YOUR MOTIVE FOR
LIVE @ ED CASTLE + FOWLERS LIVE + THE GRACE EMILY / Friday January 11th 2008
Despite all evidence to the contrary: Adelaide has a ridiculously diverse and vibrant music scene that's second to none. Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, you'll find another live band giving you their all. So much talent! So much creativity! Pushing your supermarket trolleys. Serving up your burgers and fries. Answering your telephones. Working your cash registers. Packing your shelves, cleaning out your toilets and pulling your beers. They do your laundry, cook your food and serve you dinner. They guard you while you sleep. They drive your ambulances. Fuck! I don't think I've ever been more frightened than I am now! The sooner they can all quit their day jobs, the sooner we can all sleep at night! And so what better way to get them off the street and safely locked away in the tour bus than a night like this: with so many gigs to choose from, it's so hard to choose one! Fuckit! why not chose them all!? Adelaide, support your music scene, cause they're sure as fuck too bent to be supporting us!8:43PM
- My impossible mission begins at the Grace Emily. My aim? To drink entirely too much alcohol in the space of an hour till my genius plan of covering three venues and five bands in one night doesn't sound like a suicide attempt. Hmm, I think I'm gonna need a bigger bucket..9:45PM
- One hour of drinking myself retarded and two minutes of running headfirst into walls and down the wrong alleyways later, I find my drunkarse beating down the door of the Ed Castle on Currie street for The Amcats EP launch supported by UK Special and Isle Of Vision..UK SPECIAL
To any other untrained ear this band would be nothing more than shrieking noise and unintellible 60's hippy garage thrashing. Thankfully however, at this exact moment, those four beers I've had in the last hour have just chosen to kick in and quite like going cross eyed at one of those magic eye puzzles, BANG! I'm hearing psychedelic sailboats and fucking dolphins everywhere! UK Special: they're every Vietnam soundtrack cliche played at once whilst Andy Warhol pisses on your twitching corpse screenprinted to repetition. They're Velvet Underground's "Waiting For My Man", Van Morrison's "Gloria" and The Who's "My Generation" swirling into a psychedelic swirl. They're a rambling diatribe of distorted vocals from the backlines, hellfire guitar candy, leering and lurching keyboards, Rod Stewart Jnr tearing apart a bass guitar and loose as fuck rubberband drumming that always appears two steps behind before snapping back into focus. Derailed, disscordant and deranged as fuck but somehow it all works. Whoaaa!10:43PM
- After spending way too many minutes (and quite possibly hours) fascinated by the swirling vortices forming in the palm of my hand, I crawl out've the Ed Castle, fall flat forward running chicken with the traffic whizzing past my ears on Hindley street to arrive at Fowlers Live for Soft White Machine supported by Aphelion, Satin Harem and Tony Font Show..TONY FONT SHOW
The poles are flipflopping north/south on my centre of gravity and I'm really starting to regret drinking all that beer so early in the night (what with the floor interchanges with the walls every 2 minutes) but here at the lobotomising funkmetal jam that is the Tony Font Show in full flight, I'm in fine company. Pad these walls white and I could rock back and forth laughing hysterically at dancing shadows all night. In description (and as much as my incoherent notes inform me) tonight's set sounds like a wet dog attempting to dry itself to a chainsaw breeze, but perhaps this is just me being momentarily spaced out by Matt's shambolic muppet fight on the bass. Mmmm, hairy! Being the support band they also suffer from the semicircle-of-death, with their kamikaze mosh nowhere to be seen tonight, spare for a few fangirls doing a witches coven whilst I duck and weave (and try not to fall over) to get my shots. But still, the force is strong with this one! Even in this eye of the storm, the madness is ripe and it's beckoning me to do battle!11:13PM
- Peeling myself off those walls, a puddle to human form, I swim up against the tide, surf waves of lapsing coherency and wash ashore at the Grace Emily. Here for The Kemp Brothers and Your Motive For, although by this time, probably more latter than the former..YOUR MOTIVE FOR
After more than five long years observing this band in the wild, I think I finally have them figured. I know! I know! it'd usually take much less than that to reduce any band to the grand significance of a postage stamp. The sound is easy to nail. Comparisons are easy: You Am I, Augie March, Dallas Crane, Your Motive For is all the above. One crack of a ringtab. One pub falling out've a sunburnt sky and there they are. Your Motive For: every brewery's wet dream for an advertising campaign, wave your pint glasses in the air and sing along. But the question still hanging in the air way after the pool tables and bar stools come crashing around our ears to thunderous applause; why? Why do the chicks flock to this band like seagulls? Why do all the hopeless drunks sing along in droves? Why dammit WHY!? And then tonight, grinning from ear to ear in the height of my alcoholic delerium it hit me. It was so simple! How could I not see it before? Your Motive For are THE falafel of rock! Somewhat nonsensical in sobriety but the minute the back teeth are floating they're nothing short of liquid gold. Genius! With me gargling through the carpet fibres, this is the best fucking buzz ever! I'm so fucking wasted! WOOOO!! *ahem* whoaaa. where was I? oh yeah, moral of the story? Play opening act at your peril. Cold sobriety and sunlight is your enemy. With an album finally in the works for 2008, keep those beers rolling and who knows what untold carnage your fans could unleash! YEAAAS!11:52PM
- Before the drunken hyperbole gets the better of me however, I'm interrupted by an SMS: Soft White Machine are already four songs in on their set. Shit! Much frantic clawing through loose rock and rubble later, I emerge squinting at the lights back at Fowlers Live..SOFT WHITE MACHINE
Reality is well and truly playing tricks with me now. Size, dimension and scale have lost all measure and meaning. I could've sworn this was just some unassuming Adelaide four-piece playing a mid-sized venue off the Morphett street bridge on any given Friday, but then that howling shitstorm in elephant stampedes and air raid sirens that is "Tonight We Break" explodes around my ears and the spacetime continuum damn near shits itself sideways. Soft White Machine, despite playing to what appears to be just 100 people scratching their arse (give or take a baker's dozen) sounds like a stadium rock meltdown 10,000 fold compressed to the blackhole singularity of a pinhead. Andreas is working those airconditioners to overdrive with his hair to match the fury of his guitar, Jett is hammering his bass like a Richter 8 earthquake, Nick on drums is whipping an entire army into battle over the plains of Mordor whilst Karl goes and ruins it all with a deadpan dick and fart gag *cough* such is the oddball comedy that is Soft White Machine. Power riffs, expansive arrangement, soaring vocal aggression, cascading poly-rhythmic math percussion and Karl fucking it all up inbetween with utterly inane on-stage banter? Yup, never a dull moment with this band! Soft White Machine, for being the rarest upon rare progrock act for not sticking their heads up their own arses, you indeed most rock!12:23AM
- How I managed to bend the laws of relativity to escape from the event horizon that enveloped Fowlers Live this night is a tale best left for another time (and space), suffice to say the black hole that had become of my memory lapse makes the narrative segue instantaneous. One moment I'm at Fowlers Live in the thick of it, next moment I'm back at the Ed Castle and without a single clue how the fuck I got here..THE AMCATS
Only two things are needed as reference points in describing this band: The White Stripes (obviously) and John Travolta doing the goofy dance with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (less obviously). Combine the sound, the arrangement, immediate influence (a lifetime's worth of cheap punchlines) and yes even more eerily the beguiling inuendo of the former (are they brother and sister? boyfriend and girlfriend? freaky alien clones sent to kill us all? who the fuck knows!?) with all the dumb and downright infectious buzz groove of the latter. Weird I know, but if someone were to mashup The White Stripes "Black Math" with that scene in Pulp Fiction on youtube, we could all fuckoff home early satisfied we'd nailed them in a nutshell. Still as much as there's nothing much to this recipe and I could've sworn it was the same song being played 50 different ways, they're just so much fun in a 1950's Happy Days way with their goofy interplay and shredding minimal grooves that you can't help but come back again and again. Freaaaaky!12:52AM
- The dust finally clears after a long battle fought between three venues and a vague semblance of clarity returns. I could've sworn I'd be holding half of my bullet riddled internal organs in my hand, accompanied only by the whistling hole where my head used to be, but once again I've prevailed against all available logic that would've dictated otherwise. Weird! I guess if all that the Adelaide music scene could throw at me didn't kill me, I might as well finish the job..3:44AM
- and so many hours later I finally stumble out've the Ed Castle, cursing my freakish powers of unkillability yet ever so happy to have pushed that big red button again and again..
Who knows untold horror and dribbling wonders I'll unearth when this dawn breaks?
Previously on Spoz's Rant: Spank Rock + Femme Fatales + Fire! Santa Rosa Fire!